How to have the best 2014 ever

A new year's greeting from the "Little Victors" of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

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It’s that time again.  Time to be thinking about a new year and new opportunities.  If you’re thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, there’s no better way to spend the next 90 seconds than by watching the Little Victors of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital share their advice for how you can make 2014 the best year ever.

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Siblings of sick kids

What's it like being the brother or sister of a child with a serious illness?

No one can tell you what it’s like to be the sibling of a child with a serious illness better than siblings who have been through it all themselves.

In this week’s new Kids4Kids video, brothers and sisters of Mott patients share their experiences and advice for other kids.


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Kids helping kids: Introducing the Mott Kids4Kids video series

Debut video features Mott patients talking about adjusting to scars and other physical differences

One of the things I’ve learned in my time here at Mott Children’s Hospital is that sometimes kids themselves are the best teachers we have.

My colleague, Jacqueline Kaufman, PhD, and I developed the Kids4Kids video series to take advantage of the incredible expertise of the kids we work with to help other kids and families going through similar experiences.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be debuting a new Kids4Kids video for you each week.  This week’s video features kids sharing their experiences adjusting to a physical difference from their illness or treatment – things like scars, hair loss, or being in a wheelchair.

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A Food Allergy-Friendly Halloween

Taking the "boo" out of halloween for kids with food allergies

halloween food allergyAs Halloween approaches, focus on what your child with food allergies can do rather than what he or she cannot do. Sure, candy and trick or treating are synonymous with Halloween, but there’s much more to the holiday than gorging on sweet treats.

Fun Without Food

Get into the Halloween spirit by enlisting your child to help decorate for the holiday. Carve or paint pumpkins. If you cannot carve a real pumpkin because of an allergy, craft stores sell foam pumpkins that can be carved just like the real ones (an added bonus with the foam ones — no cleaning out pumpkin guts).

Get crafty and make your own Halloween decorations and costumes. Tissue paper ghosts are a cinch. Simply ball up a piece of tissue paper or a plastic shopping bag. Place it in the center of a flat sheet of tissue paper, then wrap the corners of the sheet around the ball. Tie off the ball with string to create a head. Decorate with a spooky face!

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5 things parents should know about retinitis pigmentosa

mott blog - retinitis pigmentosaAn estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. have retinitis pigmentosa.   Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of related eye disorders that cause progressive vision loss. These disorders affect the retina, which is the layer of light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Vision loss occurs as the light sensing cells of the retina gradually deteriorate. Initial symptoms include night vision problems and challenges with peripheral vision, or side vision. Individuals with RP may be diagnosed in early childhood or not until they are adults.

If your child or someone you know has been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, here are 5 points that may help you understand this condition:

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Avoiding flat spots on your baby’s head

Recent study finds nearly half of all infants have “plagiocephaly”

mott blog - flat head blog imageA recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that nearly half of all infants in their study group had positional plagiocephaly, or a flat spot on their head (from Greek plagio- slanted and –kephale, head). The study authors suggest that educating parents about how to prevent this condition should begin before the 2-month-old well-child visit.

These flat spots have become more common since the recommendation that infants be put to sleep on their backs, a recommendation that has decreased infant mortality from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. While flat spots are typically not cause for concern medically, they can create cosmetic issues that range from insignificant to facial deformities.

There are several things you can do to help prevent flat spots from developing:

Encourage your baby to turn to both sides. If you typically hold your baby in your right arm so he or she is looking out to the right, switch it up and hold your baby in the other arm. The same principle applies with feeding. Alternate the arm in which you hold the baby during feeding so he or she is forced to turn in a different direction each time. When your baby is old enough to be spoon fed, alternate the sides on which you sit while feeding him or her.

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